LONG BEACH : Ex-Police Chief Binkley Granted Disability Leave

Former Long Beach Police Chief Lawrence L. Binkley, who was fired from his job in January, has been granted a stress-related disability leave that will pay him his full salary for up to one year, city officials said Friday.

Binkley, who earned $110,159 annually, filed for a work-related medical claim Jan. 16, one day before City Manager James C. Hankla fired him, citing problems such as his management style.

City officials agreed to the claim after a city-appointed psychiatrist concurred with Binkley's doctors that his stress is work-related, said Assistant City Atty. Robert E. Shannon.

Reaction to Binkley's medical leave was mixed. Councilman Les Robbins, echoing several colleagues, said Binkley had been under considerable stress "and he has the scars to prove it." Councilman Warren Harwood questioned whether Binkley is "taking advantage of the system."

Richard Williams, a spokesman for the Long Beach Police Officers Assn., called the medical claim ironic, noting that Binkley had questioned the validity of stress-related leaves by officers.

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